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Plumpton College records largest cohort of wine students to date

Published:  04 December, 2018

Plumpton College has recorded the largest student intake for its wine courses since the education centre was launched 30 years ago.

The business said the overall number of candidates for 2018/19 was up by 20% compared to 2016/17, with new starters signing up for the BA (Hons) International Wine Business degree soaring by 40%, of which the majority was female, it revealed.

The Wine Division had also seen further growth in the number of students enrolling onto its most popular undergraduate programmes (the FdSc Wine Production and BSc (Hons) Viticulture and Oenology), with an equal gender split, and ages ranging from 18 to 60, said the college.

The largest increase in student numbers however was recorded for the MSc Viticulture & Oenology, which focuses on cool-climate wine production, with numbers having doubled from 10 to 20 in the same period.

The hike in numbers “clearly demonstrated” the boom in the English wine industry and Plumpton's growing worldwide reputation, said head of Plumpton Wine Division, Chris Foss.

“We are delighted to see that some of our new students already have substantial industry experience, but the vast majority are new to wine production and are energised to join the UK’s flourishing wine production industry,” he said.

Since 1988, Plumpton College, near Lewes in Sussex, has been supporting the global wine industry with a wide range of programmes, from Level 3 (‘A’ level equivalent) and apprenticeships to university degrees in wine business and production, including the MSc in Viticulture and Oenology.

The coursed are delivered by team of 10 wine specialists in Plumpton's purpose-build wine centre, which includes laboratories, a sensory evaluation room, lecture rooms and the Rathfinny Research Winery.

Plumpton Wine Estate also manages 10 hectares of vineyards and a commercial winery, where students produce still and sparkling wines.